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April 05 2012

Editorial Radar with Mike Loukides & Mike Hendrickson

Mike Loukides and Mike Hendrickson, two of O'Reilly Media's editors, sat down recently to talk about what's on their editorial radars. Mike and Mike have almost 50 years of combined technical book publishing experience and I always enjoy listening to their insight.

In this session, they discuss what they see in the tech space including:

  • How 3D Printing and personal manufacturing will revolutionize the way business is conducted in the U.S. [Discussed at the 00:43 mark ]
  • The rise of mobile and device sensors and how intelligence will be added to all sorts of devices. [Discussed at the 02:15 mark ]
  • Clear winners in today's code space: JavaScript. With Node.js, D3, HTML5, JavaScript is stepping up the plate. [Discussed at the 04:12 mark ]
  • A discussion on the best first language to teach programming and how we need to provide learners with instruction for the things they want to do. [Discussed at the 06:03 mark ]

You can view the entire interview in the following video.

Next month, Mike and Mike will be talking about functional languages.

Fluent Conference: JavaScript & Beyond — Explore the changing worlds of JavaScript & HTML5 at the O'Reilly Fluent Conference (May 29 - 31 in San Francisco, Calif.).

Save 20% on registration with the code RADAR20

December 18 2010

Strata Gems: A sense of self

We're publishing a new Strata Gem each day all the way through to December 24. Yesterday's Gem: Clojure is a language for data.

Strata 2011 The data revolution isn't just about big data. The smallest data can be the most important to us, and nothing more so than tracking our own activities and fitness. While standalone pedometers and other tracking devices are nothing new, today's devices are network-connected and social.

Android phones and iPhones are fitted with accelerometers, and work well as pedometers and activity monitors. RunKeeper is one application that takes advantage of this, along with GPS tracking, to log runs and rides. FitFu takes things a step further, mixing monitoring with fitness instruction and social interaction.

Phones, however ubiquitous, are still awkward to use for full-time fitness tracking. With a much smaller form factor, the Fitbit is a sensor you clip to your clothes. Throughout the day it records your movement, and at night it can sense whether you wake. With a long battery life and wireless syncing, it's the least intrusive device currently available for measuring your activity.

Fitbit data
An extract from the author's Fitbit data

Fitbit are working on delivering an API for access to your own data, but in the meantime there's an unofficial API available.

Withings produce a wi-fi enabled scale, that records weight and body mass index, uploading the data to their web site and making it available for tracking on the web or a smartphone.

The next step for these services is to move towards an API and interoperation. Right now, Fitbit requires you manually enter your own weight, and diet plans such as WeightWatchers aren't able to import your weight or activity from the other services.

For much more on recording and analyzing your own data, check out Quantified Self.

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